Featured events

7-9 September 2012
Brussels Games

Brussels Gay Sports will offer a weekend of fun and fairplay in the capital of Europe, with volleyball, swimming, badminton, and tennis, as well as fitness and hiking.

Learn more HERE.
26-28 October 2012
Bern, Switzerland

The success of the first edition of the QueergamesBern proved the need for an LGBT multisport event in Switzerland. This year will be even bigger, with badminton, bowling, running, walking, floorball.

Learn more HERE.
17-20 January 2013
Sin City Shootout
Las Vegas
The 7th Sin City Shootout will feature softball, ice hockey, tennis, wrestling, basketball, dodgeball, bodybuilding and basketball.

Learn more HERE.

13-16 June 2013
IGLFA Euro Cup
After this year's edition in Budapest at the EuroGames, the IGLFA Euro Cup heads to Dublin for 2013, hosted by the Dublin Devils and the Dublin Phoenix Tigers.

Learn more HERE.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Homophobia in sport round-up: Steve Buckley and Jim Buzinski forecast that the first all-star to come out will be no big deal

Our no-longer-daily round-up of stories on homophobia and coming out in pro sports.

Recently out sports writer Steve Buckley writes in ESPN Magazine:

COULD WE ALL DO THE GHOST of Jackie Robinson a favor and stop pestering him each time a sports figure announces he's gay? In the past month alone, Suns president Rick Welts, former Villanova basketball player Will Sheridan and ESPN New York radio host Jared Max have come out of the closet. Each man was applauded for his courage and candor, followed by the obligatory line that "a terrible weight has been lifted from his shoulders." Then everyone moved on to the real question: When will we see an openly gay male athlete in a major team sport?

Enter Robinson. When he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, breaking the color barrier, he endured racial taunts, high-flying spikes and the occasional fastball to the ear. No. 42 persevered, of course, and ended up in the Hall of Fame. Now, though, if you google "Jackie Robinson" and "gay," you get so many hits you might think Jackie himself was at the Stonewall Inn that night in 1969 when the gays said they were mad as hell and weren't going to take it anymore.

As well-intentioned as it is to pose the question -- who will be the gay Jackie Robinson? -- the parallel doesn't work. Robinson couldn't hide the color of his skin, and he arrived at a time when few players had black friends (to say nothing of relatives). With nobody to enlighten them, Robinson's new teammates could hold tight to old stereotypes.

I believe it'll be different for the first openly gay man in team sports, and for the exact opposite reason: Most pro athletes already have out gay people in their lives -- a brother or sister, aunt or uncle, teammate from high school, college roommate. Or they've played with and against athletes they either knew or suspected to be gay. "Every player has played with gay guys," Charles Barkley said recently. "Any professional athlete who gets on TV or radio and says he never played with a gay guy is a stone-freakin' idiot." (A few WNBA players have come out, most notably Sheryl Swoopes in 2005.)

After my own coming-out column appeared in the Boston Herald in January, a steady stream of friends and colleagues started telling me about the gay people in their lives. One sportswriter I've been sitting next to in press boxes for 20 years has a gay brother; another has a lesbian sister. One old-timer relayed a tragic story of a nephew who died of AIDS. As for the sports people I've written about over the years, dozens began writing to me. Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis sent a supportive text the morning my column appeared, as did second baseman Dustin Pedroia. When I saw Youkilis at spring training and thanked him for the kind words, he replied, "It's not that big a deal, man. Nobody cares about that stuff anymore."

Keep reading HERE.

And Jim Buzinski takes a similar position in Outsports:

With all that said, we still don’t have an openly gay pro team sport athlete. While I think recent events have made it easier for someone to come out, I still don’t think it’s easy. Coming out is an intensely personal decision and factors specific to that person are the biggest reason for deciding when to make it public. Yet the groundwork is being laid.

I have told many an interviewer that the first publicly gay pro jock will face a blizzard of media attention and then relatively quickly we’ll move on to something else. People will realize it’s no big deal and that the games will still go on.

Read in full HERE.

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